about milledgeville – written by lynda banks
Milledgeville is really a great place to live – I’ve always thought it to be somewhat like a movie set – a backdrop for any type of movie that would ever need to be made or for any life you would ever want to live – we have just about everything here – beginning with a prestigious military school, Georgia Military College, with its uniformed students, its beautiful campus and its impressive buildings – one of the most significant being the old statehouse which was the center of state government for 64 years – we were the capital of Georgia from 1804-1868. Now just a little bit south of town, you will find the Theophilus Powell Building – part of what was once the largest insane asylum in the world. When you drive up to it, it being the Powell Building – you will believe that you, like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, have been blown away to another place – this place looks just like Washington D.C.
Our riverfront is gorgeous and we have a vibrant downtown. Our hospital is large enough to take care of you but small enough to know you by name. We have retirement homes, we have assisted-living facilities and we have an exceptional technical college and churches of every denomination and every description.
And if you are looking for the ambiance of the old south – well, we can help you with that, too – we have the governor’s mansion (circa 1800’s), the wonderful Lockerly Arboretum, the Willis House, the Binion House, and entire downtown streets that qualify for the historic register.
We also have a 15000 acre lake, Lake Sinclair, with five hundred miles of shoreline dotted with charming cottages and some homes that remind one of Italian villas.
And then there is Georgia College – Georgia’s public liberal arts college – with 6000 students. The college has brought to us more tall buildings than any other small town will ever hope to have – many of our students come from the Atlanta area – our professors originate from all over – the beautiful campus covers many blocks of downtown and then we have west campus – it is equally impressive and located on the perimeter – (sometimes called the bypass) – the latest additions to west campus are the new wellness center and the new radio station – the college influences the entire community – it brings culture i.e. plays, concerts, the symphony, the ballet to all of us – the students are exhilarating and certainly cause us to finely tune our driving – the streets belong to them during certain times of the day.
Now for local characters – and they are everywhere – they are the originals – mostly born here – they want very much for you to like their town – they want to include you in the community because they like it and are proud of it – similar to the feeling your mother had about you when you started to school – don’t be surprised if when meeting you, they invite you to coffee at Black Bird or to dinner at Aubri Lane’s – these days they will probably mention that we have a new Kroger complete with a Starbucks.
One bit of advice, when in Milledgeville, don’t sit in the wrong chair at the barber shop and don’t ever criticize Robert E. Lee.
Southern people, contrary to what you may have heard or may think usually end their conversation with you by saying “call me” – I’ve never heard one say “y’all come.”
P.S. We are the home of Flannery O’Connor – besides being known all over the world, I believe she is the only writer to be quoted by the pope when giving the eulogy of another pope. We’re the home of Carl Vinson who, during World War II was considered to be the most powerful man in the country. Oliver Hardie of Laurel and Hardie fame lived and performed here, and we were for many years the home of Frank Stanley Herring – artist extraordinaire – his work today is displayed at the Smithsonian - when Mr. Herring was in art school, he wrote a post card home to his family and his words were – “art school is good, I’m happy here and I have a new best friend. I’m not sure he has any talent – he seems only to be able to draw pictures of mice, his name is Walt.” Miss O’Connor, Mr. Herring, and Mr. Vinson are all buried at Memory Hill Cemetery. I’m not sure about Mr. Hardie but it seems to me that a large percentage of people who come here come here to stay.
I think I know why.